Turn your Instagram into pillows and wall art

Personalize Mementos. Please #UseFilters

We’re in the heyday of beautiful Instagram and Facebook feeds. But, why not kick it old school? I remember the days of polaroid and instant cameras. The anticipation as I waited for the film processing was like a cliffhanger in a Breaking Bad episode. Many times I was disappointed with badly lit faces, irreversible red eye, and blurry images. Wasted film for a few great photos.

Nowadays, you can do so much on your phone (hello Portrait mode!), or invest in a DSLR camera. Anyone can turn mundane shots into works of art. While I’ve taken my fair share of bad pics, I’ve learned a thing or two from my talented photographer mother.

Old School Meets New School

While Instagram and Facebook are great ways to share to our inner circle (and to the world), the photographic mementos are no longer captured in the physical sense. Everything is digital. Where are the archival albums with the clear sheet protectors? Where is the shoebox of polaroids stacked up neatly, or thrown in a mangled heap? Where is the silver locket on a chain containing a charming B&W portrait?

With all the filter wizardry you can find with a myriad of apps like Instagram, VSCO, Snapseed and Lightroom, any image can be manipulated. So, I’ve got some recommendations of how to turn pics into old school mementos.

The Age of Pet (+Human) Pillows

With all the famous Instagram pets, we know how important pets are in the universe. Pet parents, fur moms and dads, whichever moniker you choose, they exist — legions of them.

Startups have realized that the ubiquity of social media can be turned into prized mementos. Ottawa-based CanvasPop is not another canvas / wall art company. They make it easy for anyone to turn photos into works of art, mementos and keepsakes.

Photo pillows are becoming a popular medium for pet parents. It’s one of the most popular use cases for pillow-making. I found the CanvasPop experience easy to use, and I picked a couple pics of my adorable niece and turned them into cushions in under a few minutes.

My cushions ended up in the happy arms of her great grandma and was a major hit during a recent family reunion.  I was happy to see that CanvasPop enjoyed it as well, and shared on their feed. Social Media > Photo Art > Social Media. A virtuous circle.

Prynt the new polaroid camera?

You can still buy a polaroid camera, and shake it like a polaroid picture.” But, since many of us just carry a smartphone in our pocket (or purse), it seems like an extra thing to tote. Enter Prynt, the accessory (case) that you can attach to your iPhone, and turn your device into an instant camera. The photos from your phone can be printed ASAP on inkless sticky paper (much like the polaroids of yore) but smaller in dimensions like a Fujifilm Instax mini size.

Blurb it. Photo Books

Since Instagram and Snapchat have turned the average person into a perfectionist of sorts, you can extend that perfectionism to beautiful photo books complete with a story, captions, and pages of your personal photography.

Blurb is not a new kid on the block, but it’s certainly a great site for creating high quality photo books. Instead of a 12-month calendar that quickly becomes outdated, you can create an annual photo book. A chronological visual storytelling masterpiece.

When in Doubt, Wall Art

As you look at the white wall(s) in your home, how to decorate can be a challenge. Why not go subjective? Find some of your best pics and turn them into canvas wall art. Maybe it was a fun night where you and your crew dressed up as members of the legendary band KISS (check!), an adorable family photo, or a close-up of your precious pup.  You can always update your wall art each year, and gift to your relatives.

So, enjoy turning your social media into old school mementos you can keep!


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Storyteller and aficionado of life-improving habits and products. I dig deep, so you don't have to do the legwork. Covering topics on diet, style, beauty, and healthy habits.

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